More than 56 million Americans tuned into broadcast news stations on Tuesday, November 3, to watch the outcome of the election, according to Nielsen ratings—only to go to bed without knowing who would be the next President of the United States.
By Thursday, November 5 the Associated Press reported that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden had received 264 Electoral College votes to President Donald J. Trump’s 214. The presidential race was still undeclared because Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania had ballots left to count.
Americans were still left wondering if Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden would be victorious.
The delay in election results was in part because of the influx of mail-in ballots in states across the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, the outcome of local races affecting the Upper Cape were known at the latest by Wednesday morning, November 4.
Voters returned incumbent Congressman William D. Keating, a Democrat who lives in Bourne, to the 9th Massachusetts Congressional seat; returned incumbent state Senator Susan L. Moran, a Democrat who lives in West Falmouth, to the Plymouth and Barnstable Senate seat; chose Steven G. Xiarhos, a Republican who lives in West Barnstable, for the open 5th Barnstable House seat; and selected Mark R. Forest of Yarmouth and Sheila R. Lyons of Wellfleet for the two available seats on the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners.
While most towns on the Upper Cape (Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich) had their unofficial election results counted by 10 PM on election night, the Town of Mashpee did not have election results available until the next day after 3 PM.
Mashpee Town Clerk Deborah Dami said that if the clerk’s office received any additional mail-in ballots that are postmarked on or before November 3, they would still be counted. This is true statewide.
Ms. Dami said she would not attribute Mashpee’s delayed results to the flood of mail-in ballots; she said it just took them longer to count all of the ballots.
In the presidential race, residents on the Upper Cape voted in favor of Mr. Biden, but in Bourne the gap between votes for Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump was narrow—5,988 votes were cast for Mr. Biden, compared with 5,026 for Mr. Trump.
Falmouth had the largest margin between votes for the two candidates—Mr. Biden received 13,817 votes, and Mr. Trump received 7,246.
In Mashpee, Mr. Biden received 5,977 votes and Mr. Trump received 4,078.
In Sandwich, Mr. Biden received 7,519 votes and Mr. Trump received 5,922.
5th Barnstable District
Another narrow election for voters on the Upper Cape was seen in the race for the 5th Barnstable District House seat.
Mr. Xiarhos of West Barnstable edged out his Democratic opponent, James J. Dever of Sandwich.
Mr. Xiarhos received a total of 13,384, or 52 percent, of the votes compared with Mr. Dever, who received 12,217, or 48 percent, of the votes.
The 5th Barnstable District encompasses Sandwich; Bourne Precincts One, Two and Seven; Barnstable Precincts 11 and 12; and Plymouth Precinct Nine.
According to the towns’ unofficial results, Mr. Xiarhos topped Mr. Dever in every town within the 5th District, including Sandwich, which is Mr. Dever’s hometown.
“For over a year we’ve been working together...we did it,” Mr. Xiarhos said at an outside gathering at Tomatoes Italian Bar and Grill in Sandwich on election night. “We stayed true to ourselves; we are about service before self.”
Mr. Dever conceded during a phone call to Mr. Xiarhos on Tuesday night; the two have remained friendly.
Mr. Xiarhos said he and Mr. Dever made a deal that they would go to dinner with their spouses after the election, with the stipulation that the winner would pay.
“As I reminded Steve, it’s the winner who pays, so I look forward to my wife and I having dinner with Steve and his fiancée sometime,” Mr. Dever said. “With the free time, maybe I’ll get involved in Xiarhos’s son’s foundation.”
The Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Fund provides support to local military families in need of financial assistance.
Mr. Xiarhos said he spent Wednesday thanking his supporters and those who voted for him.
Plymouth And Barnstable
In the contest for the Plymouth and Barnstable Senate seat, a rematch of a special election earlier this year, Ms. Moran retained her seat against Republican attorney Jay McMahon of Bourne.
She took her hometown of Falmouth handily, defeated Mr. McMahon more closely in Sandwich and lost Bourne (Mr. McMahon’s hometown). She defeated Mr. McMahon in Plymouth, Kingston and Pembroke.
Ms. Moran received 55,560, or 56 percent, of total votes, and Mr. McMahon received 43,573, or 44 percent, of total votes.
The Plymouth and Barnstable state Senate seat covers Bourne, Falmouth and Sandwich in Barnstable County and Kingston, Pembroke and Plymouth in Plymouth County.
“I’m grateful to the voters, election workers and my team for reelecting me to serve the community,” Ms. Moran said. “I look forward to continuing to listen and work toward economic solutions especially for transportation, housing and innovative green and blue technologies as we rise out of COVID by committing to social distancing.”
US 9th Congressional District
In the race for the Massachusetts 9th Congressional District, Rep. William R. Keating (D-Massachusetts) topped his opponents in towns including Falmouth, Bourne and Sandwich.
“I’m not celebrating yet, as the course of the 117th Congress and our country’s future is so closely tied to the final results of the presidential election,” Mr. Keating said.
In the 9th District, Mr. Keating received a total of 255,803, or 62 percent, of the total votes.
Republican candidate Helen Brady of Concord received 146,725, or 36 percent, of the total votes.
Independent Michael Manley received 9,424, or 2 percent, of the total votes.
The 9th District covers all of the Cape and islands, along with portions of Bristol and Plymouth counties.
Rep. Keating received 13,942, or 64 percent, of the ballots cast in Falmouth; 6,525, or 59 percent, of the ballots cast in Bourne; 6,137, or 61 percent, of the ballots cast in Mashpee; and 7,755, or 58 percent, of the ballots cast in Sandwich.
Ms. Brady won 6,679, or 31 percent, of the votes in Falmouth; 4,235, or 39 percent, of the votes cast in Bourne; 3,708, or 36 percent, of the votes cast in Mashpee; and 5,314, or 40 percent, of the votes cast in Sandwich.
Mr. Manley, had received 315, or less than 2 percent, of the ballots cast in Falmouth; 220, or 2 percent, of the ballots cast in Bourne; 214, or 2 percent, of the ballots cast in Mashpee; and 328, or less than 3 percent, of the ballots cast in Sandwich.
“Yesterday’s election did not end the pandemic nor the current session of Congress—the Senate must take immediate action in the lame-duck session to put relief into the hands of Americans suffering from the impacts of this pandemic,” Rep. Keating said.
Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) defeated Republican challenger Kevin O’Connor by garnering 2,286,270, or 67 percent, of the total votes, according to Associated Press reports.
Mr. O’Connor received 1,151,191, or 34 percent, of the total votes.
Mr. Markey won by substantial numbers in Falmouth: 13,364 votes to Mr. O’Connor’s 7,725.
But in Bourne, Mashpee and Sandwich, Mr. Markey faced a tighter race.
In the race for Barnstable County regional commissioner, the two available seats have been taken by Democrats Sheila Lyons of Wellfleet, who received 63,939 total votes; and Mark Forest of Yarmouth, who received 62,278 total votes in the county.
Ms. Lyons and Mr. Forest have triumphed over Republican incumbent Ronald R. Beaty of Barnstable, who received 54,010 total votes and independent opponent Abraham Kasparian Jr. of Yarmouth, who received 11,988 votes, according to WBUR.
On the Upper Cape, Mr. Beaty was the top vote-getter in Bourne and Mashpee, while in Falmouth and Sandwich, Ms. Lyons received the most votes.
Ms. Lyons said, “It was an amazing win, and I have to thank every volunteer and the people across Cape Cod on my behalf, for myself and Mark Forest. It’s a good time to be back.”
Mr. Forest said the two really ran as a team and they are grateful to all of their supporters.
“Now is the time for collecting campaign signs and shutting down the campaign and thanking everyone,” Mr. Forest said.
Mr. Beaty said he had a “so it goes” attitude toward the results.
“All I can say is that if it is God’s will, then so be it—que sera, sera—whatever will be, will be,” Mr. Beaty said.
Assembly of Delegates—Falmouth Seat
Also up for reelection was the Falmouth seat on the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates, which incumbent Douglas C. Brown won with 8,649 votes, or 52 percent.
The Falmouth delegate is assigned the highest voting percentage in the assembly after the Barnstable delegate.
Mr. Brown was previously elected to the position this year after Ms. Moran was elected to the state Senate.
Mr. Brown’s opponents had similar results. Daniel A. Gessen received 4,036 votes, or 25 percent of the vote; and Michael G. Heylin received 3,812 votes, or 23 percent.
Massachusetts State Ballot Questions
Voters in the commonwealth also faced two ballot questions.
Massachusetts Ballot Question 1, Amend Right to Repair Law, passed in the state with 2,493,850, or 75 percent, of the total yes votes in the state compared with 834,462, or 25 percent, of total no votes, according to Associated Press reports.
A majority of voters in Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich voted yes on Question 1.
Massachusetts voters, on the other hand, rejected Question 2, Ranked Choice Voting, with 1,801,273, or 55 percent, voting no and 1,492,850, or 45 percent, voting yes.
A majority of voters in Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee and Sandwich cast votes against Ranked Choice Voting.